I love this colorful new picture book from Mem Fox, an Australian author and Laura Ljungkvist, a Swedish illustrator (also known for her “Follow the Line” picture books). “Yoo Hoo, Lady Bug!” opens with a simple declaration “Ladybug loves to hide” and a picture of a cute ladybug. The next pages are bright, with spare text: “Yoo-hoo, Ladybug! Where are you?” Next is a vibrant bathtub scene where at first glance, there is no ladybug to be found. So you look closer. And closer. Then you turn the page to find out ladybug is there, hiding behind a duck. “There you are…afloat in the bath with Duck and Giraffe!” The evasive ladybug is revealed in a close-up illustration.
The art makes this book for me- Its fun, original, modern collage illustrations provide wonderful visual interest for the reader. It offers a high dose of print motivation (an interest in and enjoyment of books and reading) in the form of a familiar game. Mem Fox, of course, gifts us with great rhyme and rhythm (“Ladybug? Have you flown away? Is our game over for the rest of the day?”), promoting phonological awareness (playing with smaller sounds in words) while narrating a teasing, clever game of hide and seek. Here is another review to check out.